April 19, 2014
Approximately 170klm round trip.
Where to start with this one? Well………………….
If you are thinking of visiting Lostock Dam, then our advice is DON’T.
Traversing the road from hell and the risks you need to take to get to the dam means it is simply not worth it, but we’ll get back to that further on.
We had not planned to ride to Lostock Dam, instead we wanted to go on the new part of the Hunter Expressway that we had not ridden on yet (the Branxton part), and head towards Gresford, with plans to stop at Gresford, have some lunch and just enjoy the day. The Hunter Expressway was great, it is a nice road and once we turned off there and reached Gresford Road, the scenery was truly breathtaking. The countryside was incredibly green with rolling hills, mountains in the background and it’s ever so pretty.
Having reached Gresford, we noticed a sign for Lostock Dam and Burp thought it would be well worth a visit and Giggles agreed. This decision was almost a fatal mistake!
As we rode along Paterson River Road, the scenery continued to be breathtaking whilst the road was not too bad, however, the close we were getting to Lostock Dam, the more horrific the road had become. Now, Giggles is unsure just which shire council is responsible for this road but thinks it comes under the Dungog Shire Council. If this is the case, then this council should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves because Paterson River Road, towards the Lostock Dam end, is an absolute deathtrap.
This road is barely wide enough for 2 small cars, let alone the 4WD’s that travel along it on a regular basis, there are incredibly sharp bends, so sharp that you are almost turning back onto yourself and you simply can not see, at all, if there are any other vehicles approaching in the opposite direction that would no doubt be oncoming, head on, towards you due to the narrow width of the road and the particularly dangerous edges of a road that is horrifically maintained.
As if that is not bad enough, there are huge pot holes, and loose gravel everywhere. This, in itself, is bad enough on a straight road however when you are on a sharp bend and your front tyre hits a huge patch of loose gravel that there were no warning signs for, and you end up on the other side of the narrow road in the path of oncoming vehicles, there is absolutely nothing you can do and Giggles will add here that we doing no more than 20-30 kph per hour due to the hazardous, indeed, fatal conditions of this road. On more than 3 occasions, had their been oncoming traffic, we would have been killed, simply because the loose gravel, and the potholes, that we were in before we could even see them, meant going out of control and onto the opposite side of the road. All this at 20 – 30 kph.
A visit to Lostock Dam is simply not worth risking your life by having to travel along what Giggles feels is the worst maintained country road in Australia.
Avoid Paterson River Road, and Lostock Dam, and perhaps you will then live to ride another day.